MLB Owners, Players' Union Finally Agree to New Contract Terms, So Cincinnati Will See Baseball Soon

Play ball!

click to enlarge The Cincinnati Reds will play in Great American Ball Park soon. - PHOTO: ALLISON BABKA
Photo: Allison Babka
The Cincinnati Reds will play in Great American Ball Park soon.

Play ball!

Late Thursday afternoon, Major League Baseball and members of the Major League Baseball Players Association came to terms on a new five-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The agreement is pending until team owners ratify it in a vote, which is expected early Thursday evening.

The news arrives a little more than a week after MLB had canceled the first two series of the 2022 season, including Opening Day, which was to occur on March 31.

On March 10, franchises — including the Cincinnati Reds — published a story from MLB reporter Mark Feinsand with some details about the new employment contract. The 2022 season will begin April 7 and will run for 162 games, Feinsand says. The series that had been removed from the slate now will be rescheduled as double headers. Previously, MLB had said that canceled games would not be made up, and players wouldn't be paid for those missed games.

Per a March 1 release from the Reds, fans with Cincinnati's original March 31 opening day tickets can use those tickets for the first home game of the 2022 season, whenever it happens to start (essentially the new opening day). Those with tickets to Reds games April 2-6 will receive a credit that can be applied toward future home games. Fans also may request a refund for any March 31-April 6 games, as shared in CityBeat's previous story.
MLB has been in hibernation since December, when team owners forced a lockout after the old five-year CBA expired. During a lockout, free agency is frozen, players can't use team facilities and practices or games go unplayed. Any work stoppage can affect free agency eligibility for certain players or cause other issues the following season, depending on how long the stoppage lasts

The current lockout has been the first work stoppage since the 1994-1995 players' strike, which doomed the 1994 World Series. It is the ninth stoppage ever and just the fifth that has canceled regular-season games.

The lockout comes after the 2021 and 2020 seasons that were either shortened, capacity-reduced or otherwise altered due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

At issue: players' salaries, league revenue split, bonus pools, service time and financial treatment of younger players. Those are being addressed in the new CBA, Feinsand writes:
The new five-year CBA is expected to include increased minimum salaries, a new pre-arbitration bonus pool to reward the top young players in the game, a raise in competitive balance tax thresholds, the introduction of a universal designated hitter, the widest-ranging Draft lottery in pro sports, a system to prevent alleged service-time manipulation, limits on the number of times a player can be optioned in a season and a 12-team postseason. There will also be the evaluation of an international Draft.
As of late Thursday afternoon, the Cincinnati Reds have not posted anything about the agreement other than Feinsand's story.

The Cincinnati Reds went 83-79 during the 2021 regular season and missed out on post-season action with only a few games to spare.


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